Pakistan’s problems & the way-out—I -- by Brig (R) M Shafi Khan Back   Home  

We are lucky in a way that we can see, feel and locate the diseases. In 53 years muck has come to the top — not that there is nothing at the bottom for dredging. It is true that we have drifted from a majestic position to a deplorable status. Pakistanis themselves feel sad for the prevailing situation; it is bad that the world should call us a most corrupt or a failing or failed State. There is need for halting the drift for quick recovery before the hostile forces cause more damage.

Created in the midst of stormy atmosphere Pakistan had little chance of survival. It was addressed by Hindus as a “tent” for its endurance. India denied the money assets: there was no money, no ordnance factory, no secretariat establishment, no offices, no paper and not even paper-pins, the army; only a division strength on paper which was stretched all over the country. The small packets of strength (platoons) which did wonders to rescue refugees from hordes of Sikhs and Hindus attacking trains and Caravans. There was really “Qiamat” let loose on Muslims. In the wake of all this India supported by the Viceroy attacked Kashmir to establish a link up with NWFP (HQ of Pakhtoonistan) to “surround Pakistan”, reaching upto Afghanistan which voted against Pakistan’s membership of UNO. All this was aimed at enough to dislocating Pakistan before it could gain balance. The only staying power lay in the personality of Quaid-i-Azam and the people’s full faith in their destiny. As the situation improved, came the curse of Evacuee property for which the locals as well as the claimants fell like vultures. In the rush for personal prosperity Pakistan movement lost its direction, spirit, steam and the orientation; the mission got halted at a wrong station.

Now after 53 years the main threat to our survival, as being said, comes from the economic bankruptcy — borrowing more and more to avoid default-digging a larger one to fill a small grave of liabilities of the past.

A brief survey of various aspects of our national life is needed to pick up the faultlines and black holes.

Some of vital factors which hurt Pakistan badly: The leadership Cadre: Poor Calibre – Inexperienced; The ruling classes and trendsetters proved inadequate and insincere in their role. The elite and the feudal classes born to rule never blended with common man. Because of the above phenomenon, we saw the begging faces in all walks of life: Feudals, officials and the upper classes, made the difference in opportunities, quality and texture of life: the nation within showed compartments of rich and deprived.

The uninspired people became a class of Lotus caters: contended to eat well and live well: unconcerned even about the challenges to the nation’s integrity and survival. We lost respect in the eyes of the enemy also: this was indeed a very serious damage.

Khalil Jabran said but Kennedy made it his own — “ask not what the country can do for you. Ask what you can do for the country. The worst has been the conduct of the personalities in position of authority and power. They became vicious and selfish to employ their power as a facility to grab and multiply their treasures and real estate — the national exchequer was their first target. Horse-trading and business was practised in high offices, gagging the legislature, constant conspiracies to enhance personal interests and influence became a common feature. The worst was pointed out by an American official of the State Department who said, “what to talk about Kansi, Pakistanis can sell their mothers for dollars” some think-tanks in the West predicted that Pakistan will not survive beyond 20 years. Who is to blame?

Civil and military rulers taking turns hurt Pakistan badly: The mess created by the leaders who could not produce a consideration till 1956 forced Ch Muhammad Ali to say on the floor of the National Assembly “if a dictator comes, he will be justified to place us against the wall and shoot all of us”. The Civilian and the Army rules produced crises and chaos, jointly and separately:

Civilian Rulers: On the civilian side, there have been individuals who were responsible for upsetting the state. There was a period of palace intrigues, which created chaos paving way for the repeated martial law regimes. It is obvious that Pakistan did not have competent leaders tall enough to put the country on even keep to take it forward in good shape. There were automatons who having tailored the constitution amended it by personal decisions (1973 constitutions). In another case, the constitution was amended by force of “mandate” resting in one individual. It is also sad that civilian and the Army rulers conducted and controlled the affair of the state as one-man show: the political parties were at the beck and call of their party leader.

The Army Rulers: This phenomenon has been as certain as the day follows the night. The civilian misadventures led to military take-over ending up in worst misadventures and irremediable damages. The management of the state was upset and rocked as many times as the rulers were changed. When the Army commander appointed by the civilian authority decided to take over the Authority of the state, it cannot be called a coup de.tat... per se. The Army as such was not involved in the upset. The army chief exercised the authority as a person. He alone was responsible for good and bad performance. There has been a difference in martial law and dictators in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world — Stalin, Franco, Hitler, Tito, Soekarmo: they came to stay. Our dictators came with a promise of curing the ills. As soon as they had stabilized the situation, they tried to civilianise the rule by introducing democratic methods. They could not change the working system. The police stayed to oppress and the bureaucracy to control the policies and procedures. They co-operated with the authority to see it fail. The stemborers always looked obedient and never failed to ensure the downfall of the rulers — civilian or military.

The Partitin: We forgot the genesis, aims and the intentions of the authors of the partition plan. Nehru the known enemy of the British Raj was given a tremendous reception at Singapore by the Supreme Allied Commander in March 1946. A year later, he was the Viceroy and Governor General of India with a mandate to transfer power to India. When all his manoeuvres failed to keep or leave India united, Mountbatten jointly with Nehru prepared the partition plan at Simla, at the Viceroy palace: his wife at the hands of the guest. The Secretary to Mountbatten VP Memon prepared the draft for approval of Nehru then he faired it for the British Government. The date of transfer of power was advanced from June 1948 to 15 August 1947. Bengal and Punjab were partitioned: the latter to provide India the corridor to Kashmir the new and the only link. The construction of road to link Jammu with India was undertaken as a top-secret project in July 1947. Mountbatten personally visited Srinagar to pressurise Maharaja: he addressed him — “ make up your minds otherwise-man, I will make up mind for you.” Gandhi and other congress leaders were despatched by him to Kashmir to seek release of Sheikh Abdullah to help gobble up Kashmir. Quaid-i-Azam was not allowed entry (August 1947) into Kashmir by the state government. How vicious was the conspiracy can be seen from the Mountbatten insistence on becoming the common Governor General of both the dominions. On 19 July 1947 Quaid-i-Azarn said “No” to him. The following three sentences carry a world of horrible things planned for Pakistan:

MB: Do you realise what this will cost you?

Quaid-i-Azam: It may cost me several crores of rupees in assets.

MB: “It may well cost you the whole of your assets and the future of Pakistan”.

India followed that policy of destroying Pakistan. After deliberate preparations, Mountbatten was himself in the lead to plan and launch the Indian invasion on 27 October 1947. The British Commanders-in-chief in India conducted the operations under personal directions of Mountbatten who himself presided over the defence committee of the Cabinet meetings (not the business of the GG).

When the Quaid-i-Azam ordered his C-in-C General Gracy to go for Jammu on 28 October, he declined to act without the approval of the Supreme Commander at Delhi. Mountbatten and FM Auchenlek flew to Lahore to demand from Quaid-i-Azam withdrawal of his orders, otherwise, all the British officers in Pakistan Army were to be withdrawn immediately. It was made clear by Mountbatten and Auchenlek as representatives of the crown that since Kashmir had acceded to India, the British Government did not want the two dominions going to war. Mountbatten proposed the solution of the situation through plebiscite under UNO — it was accepted. India made a case for the above course of action — committed itself to it and by stages resiled from that position — now she is calling Kashmir as an integral part of India through she could not win over Kashmiris in 53 years.

War of waters: On 1 April 1948 India choked the flow of rivers’ water to Pakistan: it was the war of waters. A ghastly conspiracy under the guidance of World Bank took effect: it gave three Eastern Rivers: Sutlej, Beas and Ravi to India. Not many people have the idea that with the loss of Eastern Rivers we lost the reservoir of Sub Soil water, 10-12 miles on either side of riverbanks. River Ravi presently flowing through Lahore is a dry bed. The Water table in Lahore itself has declined. We did not or do not even now feel the consequencies of IWT. The giving away rivers to one of the users or diversion of rivers or control of flow of Rivers was never done anywhere in the world before or after. India after having secured Eastern Rivers and being in occupation of Kashmir has managed to command the Western Rivers also (Chenab and Jhelum) on which Pakistan had the exclusive rights vide Indus Water Treaty 1960. The powerhouses were constructed on River Chenab and River Jhelum Secretly and water pounded for months. Pakistan signed the agreement Willy-nilly after India had secretly constructed Salal-dam on River Chenab and another agreement on Wullar Barrage also was nearly signed but for a new situation. The argument in favour of Wullar Barrage was offered by officials of Pakistan that we will have relief on account of load-shedding in winters. The wizards in the Ministry of Power and Water had no idea that River Jhelum’s bed gets dry in winters; it is good for play of children and traffic of all kinds: What to talk about load shading to Pakistan? Dignified forts hurt the country’s interests on many occasions. Now India has full control on the flow of all the rivers to turn Pakistan into a desert or flood it to devastate the most beautiful land on earth. Yet some people who matter do not understand the meaning of shah-rug. As it looks, Kashmir was not developed and treated as a national issue or a national cause: three provinces do not talk much about the issue!

Kashmir problem mishandled — Simla Accord and after: The cease-fire of 1949 was a let-go approach. After the failure of operation Jibralter, the Tashkent Agreement attracted bitter criticism but the “secret” was not revealed (by the Bhutto) and the Simla Accord (1972) proved as an unpardonable failure of Pakistan’s delegation to Simla. After that event India made Kashmir a bilateral affair, in fact an issue at her pleasure. Since then UNO was kept at bay by India and its observers not allowed in the field. Subsequently, India declared it as her integral part. The sanctity of LoC was imposed only on Pakistan by US President (July 2000) playing in person. Having shelved the issue after Simla Accord, (1972) India faced the Resistance movement in Kashmir since December 1989. A hypocritical pressure on India by the West forced her to adopt new tactics of introducing the cease-fire. The Indian cease-fire (November 2000) proved a hoax and a facade for world consumption. It has in its fold more gruesome operations to decimate the resistance movement; through an accelerated genocide, a campaign to change the population ratio. India is determined to keep Kashmir whatever the cost to Kashmiris — the West co-operating with India. In 1992, the American Ambassador to Pakistan demanded “stop inflow of men and material into Kashmir.” In 1995-96, Mr Hurd and Mr Rifkind the British Foreign Secretaries demanded, “Stop outside aid to Kashmir... meaning thereby that the insider India had a right to kill Kashmiris. Both America and England say that India was not guilty of violation of Human rights, because the Indian forces have to react to the militants firing. In 1996 UN declared Kashmir as a dead issue — to be taken out of the active agenda of UNO. The tragedy in Kashmir was created, (and later supported by the West). The greatest tragedy will be if Kashmiris and Pakistanis do not see the devils’ game in progress. For their survival they must fight, against their enemies for a common cause of an honourable status.

An incident- connected with emergence of LoC: On 16 August 1972 at Chamb, the Sector Commander heading the delegation for negotiations, with India at Suchetgarh read out a signal from Govt of Pakistan to the Army:

“Indians are likely to suggest change of the cease-fire-line (CFL) into LoC.(.) This suggestion is not to be encouraged(.)” Tragedy is that the LoC had actually been formally accepted by Pakistan on 2 July 1972 vide Simla Declaration. Fooling of the nation and brazen cheating deserved retribution.

On arrival at Suchetgarh, the Indian General after preliminaries said: “General ... once we have delineated the disturbed portions of the cease-fire-line (CFL) we will draw a fresh line from one end to the other and call it LoC.” Our Chief said “yes” many times in one breath. He was reminded of the signal he had read out himself and the consequences of “yes” — he turned to the Indian General to say, “General Kundan Singh, I will not discuss this issue, it is outside my terms of reference”. The ice fell on proceedings. After few words the daylong scheduled conference was over in 15 minutes. It had serious side effects but there was no sense of shame or any punishment:

“The LoC got Pakistan by the neck. It is Simla Accord, which helped India get America. UK on her side to declare UN Resolutions as outdated and redundant, all farcical elections in Kashmir as good, Kashmiris treated as separatists and terrorists and Pakistan as nursery of terrorism. Our wizards term “Lahore-Yatra” of Vajpayee (February 1999) as the revival of Simla spirit hence a good way to venture forward for the peace process. India has been touching the negotiation tables only to gain time yet we have been insisting on negotiations to please the power suggesting this approach. We have been begging those who actually damaged Pakistan over the years to mediate. We never had our hands on the driving wheel, we knew it, the World knew it. We had swallowed the hook. We have to liberate ourselves.

For years, we did not know what we were doing. No one owned the source or authorship of the concept carried on photos at the end of the paper.

This article was published in the 5th June, 2001 issue of PakObserver with same title. This clearly shows the unrest and jealosy towards India among the Military personnel of Pakistan.